Archive for Leica M-240

Through The Hoops

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Snacks Before Hoops

The light at The Mother Hips free concert in Driggs, ID was literally golden, with none of the haze from the heat that’s been affecting the West of late filtering out the yellow.  We came across a stand where hula hoops were hanging.  It was a gorgeous evening in America.

Through The Hoop


(Pride) In The Name Of Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 14, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-10

Washington, D.C.’s Capital Pride Parade is the single most joyous event that takes place annually in the Nation’s Capital.  Gay and straight, young and old, all come out to celebrate — and this year seemed, by far, the biggest such celebration ever.  Here’s a collection of images taken along the parade route.

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-9

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-3

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-4Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-5

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-6

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-7

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-8

Pride 2015 Tfrenzy-11

Reflections On The D.C. Funk Parade

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 3, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Funk Parade 7-4 We couldn’t help thinking, as we got to the corner of 14th and U, that the street fair preceding it and the route to be taken by the D.C. Funk Parade was exactly where, in 1968, the riots that gutted Washington’s interior all began.  Even as our nearby neighbor Baltimore was bracing for more disturbances in the wake of Freddie Gray’s murder by police, D.C. was fixing to throw a party, a parade. Funk Parade 7-2 14th and U: exactly the street corner where, on the Thursday night in April 1968 when word of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination reached the streets, the Nation’s Capital began to burn, with key commercial corridors — the heart of Black D.C. in particular — not recovering for thirty or more years. Funk Parade 7-14 That the Funk Parade would travel from the Howard Theater at one end of U Street, to the Lincoln Theater at the other end, made sense symbolically.  Washington is far from a perfect city.  If you created a histogram of its population, you would still see the zone to the left completely black and the zone to the right completely white.  But especially along this commercial entertainment zone, so filled with history from the Duke Ellington era to the time that began, for some of us, when the 930 Club moved nearby and rock bands began playing in a neighborhood white kids might previously have feared to tread, D.C. has become a city where whites and blacks mix more freely than most others in the U.S. Funk Parade 7-7 And so the D.C. Funk Parade was preceded by a street fair in the U Street Corridor, as it is called, with every alley booming with music. Funk Parade 7-6 Kids were there with parents, old folks mixed with the young, and for a few hours, the city shined. Funk Parade 7 We could not help thinking also about how history was everywhere around us, and the hero of the past might now loom with irony in the present. Funk Parade 5 But as the parade time came closer, this was a city ready to get its funk on. Funk Parade 7-9 People were out in their celebration finery. Funk Parade 7-8 And the parade itself — which for some weird reason had been forced to go along a different path last year, until this year a petition and a new mayor restored it to its rightful route — was finally almost here. Funk Parade 7-10 The streets filled and people took their places, even as clouds gathered behind us. Funk Parade 3 Until finally the Funk Parade arrived, and it was a joyous event. Funk Parade 7-13 Everyone clamored to see it.  And we were again left reflecting on what a remarkable city our home of more than 30 years really is, its problems notwithstanding.  What was destroyed by civil disturbances 47 years ago has in many ways come back, with a changed, multiracial population.  The very streets that were destroyed by rioting — 14th Street, the U Street Corridor, 7th Street, the H Street Corridor — being the places that today have been restored as the most vibrant sections of a city that is livelier than ever.  It made us hope that nearby Baltimore can have the same rejuvenation, but in much, much less time. Funk Parade 7-19 We know there is much to think of, to reflect on, if the progress that D.C. has made is to continue in the future. All images Leica M (typ-240) and 35mm Summilux.

Out Into The Morning Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 31, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Blacksmith whimsy under parlor curtains.  Usual set up: M-240 and 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph.

Blacksmith Whimsy

Keep Your Eye On This One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 31, 2015 by johnbuckley100

We see it at last. Spring is here.  Leica M, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph.

Golden Gate Botanical 2


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 26, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Halloween 2014 Bullseye

Now This Is Getting Scary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 19, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Halloween 2014b


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 12, 2014 by johnbuckley100


Go on, you know you want to… buy V For Vaselines.

Morning Has Broken

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 28, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Leica M-240, Vario-Elmar-R 80-200.

Tulip Frenzy SBG 9

On Using The Leica M (Typ-240) On A Photographic Safari

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2014 by johnbuckley100

TF Botswana Color 1

Leica M, 90mm APO-Summicron-Asph

Some years ago, when contemplating going on a safari to Africa — maybe the better description is “praying to someday have the opportunity to go on a safari” — it seemed likely I would have buy or borrow a different system camera than my trusty Leica M rangefinders, because no one goes to take pictures of wild animals while limited to a focal length of 135mm.  For prior to September 18th, 2012, that was the maximum focal length you effectively could use with an M9 or other Leica M cameras that preceded it.  But on that date, Leica announced the M-240, which like Clark Kent changing in a phone booth, could be converted from a rangefinder into something approximating a DSLR.  With an adaptor, and an Electronic Viewfinder, now — mirabile dictu — all of Leica’s glorious R lenses could be used on an M camera. For the first time, one could contemplate a safari using an M and long lenses.  It seemed like a dream come true.

Last summer, I used the M and the Vario-Elmar-R 80-200 f/4 lens while taking photographs of animals out west, and it was a revelation to use the M as a multipurpose tool — by day a rangefinder, but in the evening light along the Gros Ventre River, when the moose come out to play, I could stand there with all the photographers with their long lenses and, yep, take perfectly adequate pictures.  It was a delight.  And as I knew then that this summer my family and I would be going on a long-planned safari to Botswana, it filled me with hope.

TF Botswana Color2

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80-200

Having just returned from the trip, and having returned with a number of pictures I would never have been able to take previously with a rangefinder, I think it’s safe to say that using the M-240 with long lenses on a safari can be mostly successful.  With the right lens, it can certainly take pictures at a distance.  A world of possibilities are opened up. With that said, it’s not an entirely pleasing experience.  Put differently, the M-240 in use as a DSLR is clearly a kludge.  My analysis of benefits deems it a worthy effort by Leica to give its loyal M users an opportunity to shoot long distance. But there are some drawbacks.  (To see a gallery of images taken with the M-240, go here.)

TF Botswana Color7

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80 -200, with the APO-Extender-R 2X

When taking a picture of animals in a static, or semi-static position, you have the time to focus the M manually.  Remember, even though the R-system lenses you can now use with an adaptor are superb telephotos, they are still manually focused.  And to a rangefinder user, they are not easy to focus.  I continually found myself pressing for Focus Assist, the device that with Focus Peaking enables one to see a magnified version of what he’s focusing on, along with indicators of whether the surface he is aiming at is in optimal focus.  But Focus Peaking doesn’t work as well on animal hair/fur as it does on, say, a brick wall surface.  And often it didn’t work at all.  Which means that even when I got the opportunity to take a photo of an animal, it was not nearly as easy for me to get the shot as it was for my son, sitting beside me on the back row of the open-air Land Rover, whose Canon 6D could autofocus on the animal in a split second, while I was fumbling with Focus Assist.

TF Botswana Color3

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80-200

And then there is the matter of the EVF that Leica acquired from Olympus and rebadged with its brand.  The EVF has a very slow refresh rate — some three seconds or longer between when you take the shot and when you can take the next one.  As anyone who has ever tried taking a picture of a child — never mind two lions snarling at each other — can attest, a lot can happen in a few seconds.

But this post is not meant to be a complaint.  Objectively, using a manual focus DSLR with a slow refresh rate puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the shot.  On the other hand, you can use your Leica M on a safari, and you can also use any of the amazing Leica R lenses that were manufactured prior to 2009.  And you can use the Leica APO-Extender-R 2X, which turns your 200mm lens into a 400mm lens, without carrying a bazooka-sized contraption or paying so much money for the lens you couldn’t take the trip in the first place.  You might have the reach to take the picture of the black rhino below…

TF Botswana Color6

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80 – 200, with the APO-Extender-R 2x

But it is hard to anticipate… and to focus… and to take multiple quick shots.  Yet for a quality combination of lens and camera, shooting an animal that is not moving, I would confidently put the M-240 up against Canons or Nikon combos.

TF Botswana Color5

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80 – 200, with the APO-Extender-R 2x

And then there are those magical moments when you are out there and something materializes before your eye, and with your Leica M — yes, with the Leica rangefinder you brought on safari, despite all the advice from others to take along a Canon or Nikon with autofocus… you know, the kind of camera made for this, not a gussied up street camera more appropriate for wide-angle shooting in a crowd than capturing an animal on the move… you suddenly find yourself in a position to take a shot you never dreamed you’d be able to get with a Leica M.  It was a real privilege, and joy, to go on safari.  And it was a mixed blessing, but on balance, it was a blessing, to be able to take along my familiar Leica M and be able to use it in such a setting.

TF Botswana Color8

Leica M, Vario-Elmar-R 80-200, with the APO-Extender-R 2X

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